Review of PH poverty reduction goal sought
The government should review its poverty-reduction target when updating the country’s economic blueprint.
The Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2011 to 2016 is an “excellent plan,” according to Hans Farnhammer, head of development cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines.
However, he said that “the assumptions for its success were rather high with an expected (economic) growth of 7 to 8 percent to achieve poverty alleviation target.”
The PDP targets an annual economic growth of 7 to 8 percent and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty incidence from 33.1 percent in 1991 to 16.6 percent in 2015.
“The first year  was much lower. This year looks better but the global economic situation actually is not that positive so I think they should do a review, particular I think, on the poverty alleviation target,” Farnhammer said in an interview last week.
The country grew by only 3.9 percent in 2011. In the first quarter this year, however, the economy grew by 6.4 percent.
The Aquino administration has very good priority programs such as the conditional cash transfer and the universal healthcare, Farnhammer said.
“The priority programs are all very good but I think the poverty alleviation goal set might not be achieved because it is based on 7 to 8 percent growth. Maybe some direct intervention might be important to do,” he said.
According to Asian Development Bank’s Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2012, the Philippines is among the countries in the region that are moving slowly to achieving the goal of eradicating extreme poverty.
Latest data from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) showed that poverty incidence among families was at 20.9 percent in 2009, down from 21.1 percent in 2006. This means that two per 1,000 Filipino families were lifted out of poverty between 2006 and 2009.
The National Economic and Development Authority said it would conduct a midterm review of the PDP to incorporate recent economic developments.